Sunday, July 26, 2009

Culture shock

The ongoing Singapore Heritage Festival has a lot of events going on all over the island. Some are pretty good, like Chinese hand puppet shows and Indian dance performances.

Some are well ... you wonder what it's trying to achieve. The instalment at the shopping centre near where I live takes the form of an exhibition on childbirth and how the different cultures in Singapore welcome a new baby. And it draws this whopping conclusion -- that a child is the glue that holds a family together.

Which I find incredible and also somewhat insulting. I know enough families who have children that have become unstuck. And I know families who have no children and who are doing fine, thank you very much.

I have two children -- only they each have four legs and a waggy tail -- and while their needs take centrestage in the family scheme of things, this family -- any family -- would be on dangerous ground if a child is required to bind it together.

I do understand though, what a newborn means. But surely it can't be the be all and end all of family living. Children, in themselves, are sort of worthless. They are practically useless and must be cared for. Their importance lies in the long term: the promise of things to come in the future -- much like a Warren Buffet investment.

Given that National Day is approaching, I have a feeling that all this is part of the propaganda to address the falling birthrate and a sneaky way to press my womb into National Service.

Maybe I'll just adopt another dog.

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